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By Joseph Eble, M.D., EWTN News, April 29, 2024

Joseph Eble, MD, is the president of the Tulsa Guild of the Catholic Medical Association and vice president of Fidelis Radiology. His most recent paper is “Catholics United on Brain Death and Organ Donation: A Call to Action,” co-written with John A. Di Camillo and Peter J. Colosi. …

COMMENTARY: The April 11 statement by The National Catholic Bioethics Center affirms that ‘a partial brain death standard can never be acceptable to Catholics.’

Tremendous controversy surrounds the discussions surrounding brain death, which is the notion that when the brain is dead, the person is dead.

In 1997 one of the world’s foremost brain death scholars published “Recovery from ‘Brain Death’: A Neurologist’s Apologia (republished with updated endnotes in April 2024). In it, pediatric neurologist D. Alan Shewmon, a convert to Catholicism, documents his professional conversion from believing that brain-dead patients are dead to the firm conviction that nearly all of them are alive. (He allows for the possibility that some patients who have died from widespread bodily injury incidentally meet the criteria for brain death.) “There is no question that [this] truth will eventually prevail,” Shewmon wrote. “The only questions are: after how long a time and at what human cost?” ….

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